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Dixons Carphone slumps to £440-million first-half loss

Dixons Carphone slumps to £440-million first-half loss
FILE PHOTO: Signs display the logo of Dixons Carphone at the company headquarters in London, Britain August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall   -   Copyright  NEIL HALL(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Dixons Carphone <DC.L>, the electricals and mobile phone retailer, slumped to a statutory first-half pretax loss of 440 million pounds after booking 490 million pounds of exceptional charges, mainly related to goodwill.

The outcome for the 26 weeks ended to Oct. 27 compared to a profit of 54 million pounds in the same period last year.

The group, which issued a huge profit warning in May, said it made a headline pretax profit of 50 million pounds – ahead of analysts’ average forecast of 45 million pounds but down from 73 million pounds last time.

It said it would take the “prudent” measure of cutting its dividend by about 40 percent this year so that the payout and pension fund contributions are covered by free cash flow. In line with the policy, it reduced the interim dividend to 2.25 pence from 3.5 pence a year earlier.

Dixons Carphone has suffered from a deteriorating electricals market in Britain and tougher conditions in the mobile market as customers keep their handsets longer. Its shares have fallen by a quarter so far this year.

On Wednesday new chief executive Alex Baldock updated on strategy. His plan is for Dixons Carphone to focus on growth opportunities online and revitalise its mobile business.

The firm’s workforce of 30,000 will also become shareholders through share awards in an effort to align the business behind the strategy.

(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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